French gov't pledges more security forces in Calais after violent migrants brawls

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Four teenaged migrants were in critical condition on Thursday (Feb 1) after being shot during a huge brawl in the French port of Calais involving a hundred Afghans and Eritreans armed with sticks and stones, local authorities said.

Two police officers also sustained injuries, according to The Guardian.

More than 13 more people were wounded due to blows from iron bars.

It is understood there were two fights, each featuring roughly similar numbers and one of which lasted almost two hours.

"We have reached a level of violence unbearable for Calais residents and migrants", he said.

Police reinforcements have been sent to the French port city amid warnings of growing tensions in the area.

Help Refugees on Friday issued a statement saying they had "always warned of the risky and violent potential of criminal gangs in Calais and the destructive influence they hold over those in the region".

The Calais "Jungle" became the French symbol of the European migrant crisis, and some 7,000 people - most from the Middle East and Africa - were living there before the area was cleared.

Mr Collomb tweeted: "After the serious incidents that occurred today, I am going to Calais this evening for a situational meeting with the Prefect, the Mayor of the city and other local officials".

'I will meet our security forces and emergency services in particularly hard times'.

Numerous migrants complained about CRS riot control officers pulling down tents and bivouacs set up in woods close to the ferry port.

A second melee erupted at an industrial site around 5km away.

He said police will be upping security to stop migrants in the town from attempting to board trains and ferries heading ofr the UK. Many are young men.

After the "Jungle" camp in Calais was destroyed by authorities in 2016 numerous migrants moved into woods and are often involved in confrontations with police.

Last month, during French president Emmanuel Macron's visit to the UK, Britain agreed to the signing of a new treaty created to improve security in Calais.

"Around 200 new people arrived in Calais in the two weeks after the Macron visit, most of whom has been in other parts of France".

France has repeatedly called on the United Kingdom to engage more actively in tackling the issue of migrants in Calais.